Thursday, February 7, 2013

Cleaning House: A Mom's Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement by Kay Wills Wyma

This book is about a specific aspect of parenting problem called entitlement or a me-first syndrome or the narcissism epidermic that is so prevalent among children today. Each chapter focuses on one skill that the author felt her children should learn. To be honest, I actually do not really enjoy reading this book. I find this book to be too long-winded. Nonetheless, there are a few pertinent points that I would like to highlight. I wholeheartedly agree with the author that, in her own words, "In truth, however, my real responsibility as their mother (or father) is to teach, not to handle tasks for them. I need to help these kids tackle tendency toward untidiness (or any other undesirable habit of your child) before it becomes a permanent fixture in their lives. Determined that necessary life lessons will be learned, I decide to stifle my laissez-faire flair and strategize the best way to instigate order, introduce work, and inspire commitment - a real, life-altering commitment. In short, a habit." She allow her children to learn some things by the hard way. For example, she says in the same chapter 1 that she would rarely run to her child's rescue if he stands too near the edge of a height because if she catches him every time he steps off, he will expect her to be there every time.

One of the tips that the author shared, which I find would be helpful is the use of a jar filled with 31 dollar bills and a task that had to be completed every day. If the task wasn't completed and properly, the child would lose a dollar for that day.

The other thing I liked is the chapter on Task 11 - service with a smile. As she says poignantly, the neat thing about people who incorporate service into their daily lives is that either do not talk about or they do it without realizing it as the more they serve, they more they realize it is not serving at all. IT has become a way of life, or a lifestyle. She quotes Martin Luther King JR as saying: "The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: 'IF I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?' But the good Samaritan reversed the question: 'If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?" Indeed, serving forces our eyes off ourselves. And when eyes are focused outward, inward health is restored.

(Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this e-book free from WaterBrook Press as part of their Blogging for books program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”)

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